Switzer can be considered a pioneer
for women's distance running.
In 1967 she was the first woman to run the
Boston Marathon wearing an official race
number. An irate race official tried to
remove her forcibly from the race, but supporters
pushed him off the route. The event gained
her worldwide notoriety and inspired her
to create the Avon Running Program - a 26
race, 16 country circuit for women's 10K
runs and 5K walks. Switzer served as the
program's director. In 1974, she won the
New York City Marathon. With Avon's support,
she was the driving force behind a women's
marathon event in the 1984 Olympic Games.
In 1986, Switzer formed her own company,
AtAlanta Sports Promotion, Inc. She is well
known for her broadcast and journalism work
as a commentator for ABC, NBC, CBS, Turner
Sports Broadcasting, the Olympic Games and
the Goodwill Games. She has commented on
18 Boston, 14 New York City, 12 Pittsburgh
and six Los Angeles Marathons.
Switzer has run 35 Marathons and in 1975
was ranked sixth in the world and third
in the U.S. She has received numerous citations
and awards for her efforts in advancing
sports opportunities for women, including
a New York States Regents Medal of Excellence,
the Billie Jean King Award from the Women's
Foundation and an Honor Fellow from the
National Association of Girls and Women.
Switzer received her BA and MS from Syracuse
University's Newhouse School of Public Communications.